perfect couple

Spring Cleaning: How to Freshen Up Your Dating Checklist

Jessica’s friends can’t understand why she’s still single. They say that, with her good looks and charm, she could get any guy she wanted. To some degree, they’re right. For her, finding a date has never been the problem. Most men that she meets are instantly enamored with her and eager to start a relationship.

For Jessica, however, the feelings are rarely mutual. She has high standards for her relationships and wants a man who lives up to her ideals. She refuses to settle for a partner who doesn’t cross off every mark on her dating checklist.

After interacting with a guy for a few minutes, Jessica usually decides he’s not worth seeing again. Despite her efforts, she always finds herself back to square one.

Beware of the dating checklist

Does this sound familiar? In the matchmaking industry, female clients like Jessica are very common.

Often, the most beautiful, charismatic, and successful women join matchmaking confused as to why they can’t achieve the same prosperity in their relationships as they do in every other aspect of their lives.

After years of experience, matchmakers have identified at least one culprit to this pesky relationship problem. It is none other than the dating checklist.

According to matchmakers, women with rigid checklists tend to stay single longer than those who regularly reevaluate their relationship requirements.

This is not to say that standards are bad–just that a little spring cleaning never hurt anyone.

Find yourself constantly dating guys who never measure up? It might be time to freshen up your relationship checklist.

Loosen the list

Any attractive, successful woman with a bright personality has been told this phrase at least once in her life: you can get any guy you want.

While this might seem like a great thing to hear, for most women, it only adds pressure. The process of selecting a partner is already stressful, but the idea of infinite romantic possibilities can be incredibly overwhelming. In their efforts to search for the best of the best, it’s only natural that women use some sort of organizational system to help them narrow down their choices. In that way, checklists make perfect sense.

However, checklists come with consequences. Matchmakers point to overly rigid checklists as a reason why some singles overlook potentially compatible partners. According to matchmakers, checklists are a slippery slope–once you start to list a few relationship requirements, it’s easy to list another few, and another, and another.

Before you know it, you can be evaluating potential partners from a dating checklist that is pages long.

Instead, matchmakers recommend prioritizing the qualities on your checklist. Figure out what qualities are most important to you and stick to them.

For a list that actually works in your favor, it’s best to keep it loose and limited.

What’s in a checklist?
If you’re finding it difficult to narrow down your dating checklist, one helpful exercise is to examine the values that motivate each of your relationship requirements.

For reference, some common dating checklist items are:

  • Age
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Financial success
  • Education
  • Political leaning
  • Religion
  • Family
  • Children
  • Ethnicity
  • Shared hobbies

Let’s look at Jessica’s checklist, for example. When she goes out on a date, some of the things she looks for are the following:

  • He is over 6 feet tall
  • He wears designer clothing
  • He drives a luxury vehicle
  • He earns at least a six-figure salary
  • He’s college-educated

Maybe these aren’t the only traits Jessica looks for in a mate. Yet, over the years, she has recognized these qualities as quick and easy indicators of whether or not she could be compatible with someone. However, very few of the men she met were able to check all of her boxes. If they did, she rarely felt any chemistry with them.

After working with her relationship coach, Jessica realized it was time to reevaluate her relationship requirements. Instead of projecting these prerequisites on her dates, she decided to reflect inward. She asked herself: Why are these qualities important to me?

Checklist vs. value list

Her relationship coach was able to guide her to the values that were leading her to make these conclusions about potential partners. For example, she learned that it wasn’t really that important that her partner owned a Rolex, drove a Maserati, or was over six feet tall. What was more important was that she felt safe and protected by her partner. She liked the sensation of looking up to her partner and knowing that he was strong, masculine, and capable. She also realized that qualities like a large salary, education, clothing style, or other outward signs of wealth played into this, too. For Jessica, these were signals of a partner being able to provide both physically and financially for her and their family. She realized it was also important that her partner be respected by her social circle and within their community.

In that case, Jessica was able to reverse her requirements. Although quick, obvious physical indicators might seem like compatibility give-aways, they don’t allow you to see the person within.

In Jessica’s case, she was able to switch out the superficial requirements on her checklist for qualities that honored her core values. She no longer looks for what kind of car her date drives, or whether or not his clothes are designer. Now, when she’s getting to know someone, she refers to a value list, not a checklist.

Her value list looks something like this:

  • He is hardworking
  • He is financially responsible
  • He is a man of his word
  • He is a family man
  • He provides for those he loves

If you’d like to try this, start by listing out all your checklist requirements on a piece of paper. Then, go through each item and ask yourself why that quality is important to you. Try to replace more superficial qualities with values that are deeply important to you and your relationship.

Leave room for love

Whether you decide to date with a checklist, value list, or no list at all—it’s important to leave some room for love. While strict standards make it easier to find a partner who looks good on paper, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll feel a romantic connection with them. Love is found in the wiggle room—so remember to date with an open heart.

Freshening up your dating checklist is easier said than done. If your spring cleaning routine includes reevaluating your values, why not let a professional lend a helping hand? Our expert dating coaches support clients throughout all stages of their dating journeys. Just like Jessica, coaches help their clients with topics like identifying core values, how to attract quality partners, and so much more.

Coaching is one of the surest ways to reach your dating potential. If you want to find the right person and be the right person, too, contact us about coaching today.


Defining the Relationship for Valentine’s Day—Quiz!

February is here, love is in the air, and Valentine’s day is on its way.

Whether it be with a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of champagne, or a box of heart-shaped chocolates, this annual celebration of love presents the perfect opportunity to express your feelings for the special someone in your life.

But, what if you and that special someone are still unclear on your shared relationship status?

There comes a point in any long-term relationship that you and your partner must define the relationship (DTR). This conversation can mean making things exclusive between the two of you, continuing dating casually, or maybe just to keep hanging out just as friends—anything else that fits how you both feel.

What's important is that it's openly communicated between each partner and that the feelings are mutually shared.

Approaching the “What-Are-We?” topic is never a particularly fun conversation to have. In the back of your mind lurks the possibility of them feeling differently, wanting to take things slower, or rush things too soon.

rosesWhile just the idea of DTR can be a bit anxiety-inducing, openly expressing your feelings to your partner is one of the most important and necessary aspects in any relationship.

Just as important, however, is knowing when to do so.

If you DTR too soon, you risk looking overly eager. Too late, and you appear uninterested and commitment-avoidant.

Thankfully, for all those undefined daters out there, on the horizon comes a virtually risk-free opportunity to DTR.

Valentine’s Day is designed for lovers to share their feelings for each other, making it the perfect time to establish “What We Are.”

If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to make things official between you and your boo, the holiday of love might just be it.

Yet, February 14th is coming up quick—so, time is of the essence.

If you and your partner have yet to have “the talk” before then, expect to find yourself in a situation even stickier than those caramel-filled candies you planned to share together.

Still figuring out your feelings for your Valentine? Take this simple quiz to find out whether or not to DTR this V Day!

 


3 Ladies Discuss Womens Intuition

The Science Behind Women’s Intuition

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re going to take a look into the science of an age old phenomenon—women’s intuition.

Even the CIA knows women make better spies.

Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation.

The British Journal of Psychology defined intuition as: what happens when the brain draws on past experiences and external cues to make a decision—but it happens so fast that the reaction is at an unconscious level.

Another definition is our brain’s ability to draw on internal and external cues while making rapid, in-the-moment decisions. Often occurring subconsciously, intuition relies on our brain’s ability to instantaneously evaluate the situation and make a decision based on gut-instincts.

Judith Orloff, MD, is the assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and the author of Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness. She said the following:

Just like the brain, there are neurotransmitters in the gut that can respond to environmental stimuli and emotions in the now—it's not just about past experiences. When those neurotransmitters fire, you may feel the sensation of butterflies or uneasiness in your stomach. Researchers theorize that gut-instinct plays a large role in intuition by sending signals to your brain. I teach my patients to always listen to their gut—that sixth sense that's telling you something might not be right—particularly if you're sensing danger. If you listen to it and you're wrong, you've lost nothing. Perhaps you took a longer route home or you ducked into a store until the feeling passed. If you don't listen to it and you're right, things could turn out very badly. More often than not, your gut is right, so listen up! It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Science suggests women's intuition is a product of evolution. Females with a strong ability to understand and predict the needs of their offspring and mates thrive over females with inferior senses.

Previous generations were often expected to be seen but not heard. Because of this, they developed a deep sense of observation by becoming hyper-sensitive to the feelings and nonverbal cues of others.

Women may exhibit more intuition, empathy, collaboration, self-control, and appropriate concern because of increased blood flow in the brain. Or as Dr. Daniel Amen, Founder of the Amen Clinics, put it:

“The female brain is wired for leadership.”

Perhaps they should have been listening to us all along.

We are also better at showing our emotions through facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. Whereas, men are better at hiding their emotions and maintaining a poker face.

But often, we’re still able to decode your tells. 

Research on nonverbal communication skills shows women are better at reading facial expressions and emotions. As a result, we are more likely to pick up on the subconscious cues of others.

The University of Cambridge conducted an experiment by showing people pictures of eyes. The subjects were then asked to conclude the person’s mood based on the appearance of the eyes in the photo.

Unsurprisingly, the ladies dominated.

When comparing MRI scans of brain activity, the female brain reveals an increased number of neural connections. This makes it more efficient and helps with interpreting one’s social surroundings.

On the other hand, the male brain is neurologically wired to be more logical, making it more effective at linking perception with action. This helps men be more intuitive. You guys also have better spatial intelligence, so stop making us navigate!

History and science both agree women’s intuition is more than just a myth. Listen to that little voice in your head; trust your gut. It might just save you a lot of heartbreak.